Strategic HRM and Talent Management

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Talent Management


Talent Management - Human resource is undoubtedly one of the most important resources of any organisation. Combination of Strategic Human Resource Management and Effective Talent Management helps any company gain Competitive Advantage which in turn results in success of the organisation. Competitive advantage is important to any organization to beat the competition.

Both teams are concerned with managing employees.HR management is primarily responsible to attract talent, onboard new employees etc. Talent Management, on the other hand focuses on how the talent can be utilised to the fullest to achieve goals and how can the company retain the employee for a long term.

Talent Management

Talent Management provides the company with effective measures and recommendations on how to hire and retain talent. There is increased need to retain good performers in any organisation.

The Big shop company is facing serious challenges in terms of Talent Management and in the below report, we will understand as to how the issues can be fixed. The main challenges lies in view of Big Shop are the store staff that is of prime importance. Although, people can help themselves in the store during shopping, store staff is pivotal talent who can have a disproportionate impact on performance of the store and organisation in total.

HRM Theories and approaches considered are:

1. Recruitment and selection

2. Talent Management

3. Career management/Staff value a career path above salary

4. Motivation and Job satisfaction

5. Performance management and rewards.

6. Change management

Case study analysis

The above stated case of Big shop clearly explains the challenges faced currently. We will now understand the approach that staffing should take up to improve productivity and profitability and specifically address challenges and recommendations to manage store staff.

Given the company’s new business context and strategy, recommendations for revised HR strategy are also shared. The report explain how company must ensure they hire the right talent for store staff and ensure employee satisfaction as these resources are very prime and if not managed appropriately, this will impact store and company’s performance. Various approaches and methods for recruitment and selection, performance management, reward, training and employee communications to improve performance are discussed. The report also explains how critical data and analytics to develop and refine HRM ideas, policies and practices.


· Adaptation: Retail industry is very volatile and fast changing.

· Branding: Outdated

· Loyal customers: Orderly customers only

· Financial challenges: it did not raise cash to invest in expansion.

· Geographical locations: Town centre and did not move to large out-of-town stores

· Company is bought out by a hedge fund and plan to close the 30% of stores due to very poor performance

Further actions:

· Streamline distribution network, closing warehouses, selling land and leasing out the vehicle fleet all to improve the firm’s balance sheet.

· Plan to re-brand to preserve the brands traditional appeal while updating its image for the current generation.

· Introduce new buyers and merchandisers

· Post a quick turnaround in performance, they plan to sell-on the company for a big profit


By considering the below 6 strategies, the report recommends to solve the current challenges.

Recruitment and selection

The recruitment and selection process is the first and most important for any business whether it’s new or already established business. Hiring managers with the support of human resources department ensure company leaders are making the right hiring decisions. Recruitment and selection process consists of various stages namely: Sourcing candidates, review and interview applicants, conduct interviews and final selection for employment.

With reference to Big Shop: Big Shop’s smaller stores are typically less productive and profitable than its larger rivals. The company’s store staffing levels and compensation offers are at par to other larger supermarket chains. Hence the HR should recommend and hire resources suitable as per the financial goals of the company.

Talent Management

In the recent few years, talent management has been greatly evolved. The goals and strategy of an organization incorporates HR profession by expanding its responsibilities. From an administrative process talent management now drives organizational outcomes. Companies are at war for the best talent available in the market. Business leaders now consider talent management as top business priority.

Relevant talent empowers and facilitates performance. The economic ambience of today is very complicated combination of uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and volatility. Talent management strategy should deeply be integrated within the overall strategy of the company. The current workforce is the outcome of demographic change, clubbed with globalization. Talent management is enabled to build strong organisations and connect business with changing demography. By identifying and harnessing the talents of employees, management can transform their business and also maximizes the use of their employees‟ full potential.

With reference to Big Shop: Management has to identify the relevant talent in the existing pool and invest in managing the required talent pool. Planning has to be made in terms of number of employees required in the current situation as the business is low and revise the system accordingly.

Career management

Career is one of the most important elements in a person’s life. Hence once the employee joins the organisation, process should be set to manage his/ her career growth. Career guidance and counselling has developed a comprehensive system of theories and intervention strategies in its more than 100 years of history.

The Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) (Dawis, 2002, 2005; Dawis & Lofquist, 1984) is a class of theory in career development that is anchored on the individual difference tradition of vocational behaviour (Dawis, 1992) called person- environment correspondence theory, viewing career choice and development as continual processes of adjustment and accommodation . Career guidance and development is indeed important.

With reference to Big Shop: Once the company identifies relevant talent, it should invest in their career development. Since the company exists for past few decades, company should invest in few loyal employees and also get some fresh blood into the system that can bring in new fresh ideas.

Attraction, Motivation and Job satisfaction

Among various concepts of HRM, Motivation and Job satisfaction cannot be ignored. Motivation has been widely studied, e.g., in relation with career (London, 1983), burnout (Houkesa, Janssena, de Jongeb, & Nijhuisa), and payment level (Eisenberger, Rhoades, & Cameron, 1999). Existence of a link between job satisfaction and performance is widely known (Judge, Thoresen, Bono, & Patton, 2001). Job satisfaction has been studied in relation with many other important concepts of human resources management such as turnover (Mobley, 1977), personality (Judge, Heller, & Mount, 2002), and work commitment (Morrow & McElroy, 1987) among others.

With reference to Big Shop: It’s natural that since the company’s business is down, employees feel demotivated. It’s vital that Human resource and management come together to address this issue and solve it at the earliest. It all comes down to store staff as they face the customers and interact with them. Customers can sense it if the employees aren’t motivated. Each store staff has to motivate him/ her to be energized to do the best job for their store. Companies should continually try to find ways to bump up each and every one of the employee to be more motivated.

If the management finds that few employees can’t be motivated when working on in the store. HR team/ management should have conversation and if necessary, fire them.

Performance management and rewards

(Miller, 2007) Performance management is most commonly designed by Human Resource team and delivered by line managers. In recent times, line managers have become more central to the objectives and use of performance management. In simpler terms, performance management is the means by which many firms ensure that managers perform their responsibilities at the same time ensure their subordinates know what they ought to be doing and have the skills to do it and complete it to an expected standard (Lebas, 1995). Companies are embedding performance management into the strategic management process to ensure that people are adding value to the organisation and hence driving business performance.

With reference to Big Shop: As stated in the case, company (Big Shop) is bought out by a hedge fund and they plan to close the 30% of stores due to very poor performance. For a UK national retail firm, 30% is huge. And it clearly states that the reason for this business decision is poor performance. Poor performance can be in terms of sales, employee/management performance. HR and business leaders are recommended to come together and discuss the challenges that are inhibiting good performance and make sure solutions are found and problems are fixed.

Change Management

Each company tries to keep ahead of its competitors. This is the world where nothing stays the same for more than a moment. Hence change management is inevitable for management as well as its employees. Companies should have plans as to how to get a workforce and a company to shift directions fast to face a future that is almost unknowable. (Pierce & Delbecq, 1977) Change management guides organisation as to how to prepare and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.

(Berger, 1994) It is understood that all changes and individuals are very unique, research shows that there are actions that the company can take to influence people in their individual transitions. Change management provides a structured approach for supporting the individuals in your organization to move from their own current states to their own future states.

With reference to Big Shop: The Company should retain its USP which is good quality food at lowest possible price during change management. Currently, the Company’s strength is 80,000 employees and the company has been going through a lot of changes along the way. Management has to ensure smooth and effective change management at all times. Now, when the company has been taken over, employees should be assured that along with company’s success they will be very success and will always be part of company’s success story. Management of Big Shop should help employees be accountable and take ownership of their responsibilities during change management. HR has an unprecedented opportunity to influence change management along with the leaders of the company.


Knowledge and skill base of HR is unique. Overall the report highlights that HR has an unprecedented opportunity to influence the leaders for strategic agenda in Big shop case. H R M can take onboard this responsibility and needs to use its position with an overview of the organisation. The HR function of Big Shop has to convince management/ board and employees of its ability to add value either operationally or strategically.

HR function has to join hands with talent management and overcome all the challenges. Ttalent management has two challenges to face: finding new talent to fit in to the required job description and the second is retaining existing employees. People change jobs for reasons such as unhealthy working atmosphere re, better opportunities, good compensation package, gap between the organizational goals, personal goals and bad management.

Hence it is vital for the HR department to hire the right talent for a given role in the organization or else increased attrition will contribute to the loss of business.

Big Shop’s current approach to staffing has various challenges. Prominent of the challenges being inappropriate staffing levels and pay. Just to meet market standards, the company is ending up paying packages equal to its rivals. Since rivals are making good business, their financial goals and budget will be planned accordingly.

Since Big Shop’s smaller stores are typically less productive and profitable than its competitors, it has to have its own strategies.. The above report has advice on staffing strategy, policy and HR practices for Big Shop’s remaining stores and ensures great customer experience.

HRM Theories are very vital to apply to yield good results. It all starts with Recruitment and selection. Big Shop has to hire relevant talent (may not be the best available, but should be relevant to its business and its goals). Once hired, employee’s career management has to be taken care of which helps company manage and retain this talent within the company for long term.

HR team should ensure Motivation and Job satisfaction for all employees especially the store staff as they interact with customers directly. Motivation helps employees to keep up the spirits when the company is going through tough and critical times. Performance management and rewards are not to be missed. Rewards, at times work wonders and satisfies more than the compensation package itself. Even a small reward may motivate employee and keep him happy. Change management has to be the prominent of the most given the current situation of Big Shop.

HR along with management has to influence change management of this company. Clear internal alignment between HRM practices and provide an indication of how management initiatives can be integrated into them helps the company. The next immediate action being streamline distribution network, closing warehouses, selling land and leasing out the vehicle fleet all to improve the firm’s balance sheet, the company has to have strategies in place and should act as per the planned timelines and guidelines.

Brand plays a very important role as most of the customers are getting brand conscious. Since Big shop has already established its brand, it should plan to re-brand to preserve the brands traditional appeal while updating its image for the current generation. Introduce new buyers and merchandisers to attract customers. Post a quick turnaround in performance, since the company plans to sell-on the company for a big profit, it can find success if it fixes all its challenges and find a right buyer. There are obstacles that could occur along the way, such as finding right talent and retain the employee for long term which is internal challenge. There could be external challenge such as competitors selling out at lower cost or addition of new competitors to the existing list etc. But company should stick to the guidelines, strategies to be successful.


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